COVID-19

CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas Read More »

COVID-19: Coverage of Physician Telehealth Services Provided to SNF Residents

The current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not waive any requirements related to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). However, CMS added CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443, to the list of telehealth codes coverable under the waiver during the COVID-19 PHE. These codes designate three different time increments of telephone evaluation and …

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CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

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COVID-19: Nursing Home Testing, SNF Benefit Period Waiver

MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is updated. Learn about: Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing nursing home residents and patients Updated on applying the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit period waiver

CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White …

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CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The …

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CMS Issues Call to Action Based on New Data Detailing COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is calling for a renewed national commitment to value-based care based on Medicare claims data that provides an early snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the Medicare population. The data released today includes the total number of reported COVID-19 cases and …

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HHS Announces New Laboratory Data Reporting Guidance for COVID-19 Testing

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new Guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported to HHS by laboratories along with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. The Guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision making …

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CDC NHSN Special Circumstances

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) continues to support the nation’s COVID-19 response for Long-Term Care Facilities. The NHSN Long-term Care Facility (LTCF) COVID-19 Module webpage has many resources outlining facility enrollment steps and live Q&A opportunities. However here are some specific instructions for unique situations: Your NHSN facility …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19. This is done through a wide variety of …

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Medicare Payment for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

Earlier this year, CMS took action to ensure America’s patients, health care facilities, and clinical laboratories were prepared to respond to COVID-19. To help increase testing, CMS developed two codes that laboratories can use to bill for certain COVID-19 lab tests, including serology tests. CMS has updated its guidance to include payment details for additional …

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NHSN LTCF Users

To ensure accurate data are reported, the NHSN LTCF Team asks that all facilities review the reporting guidance provided in the table of instructions posted on the LTCF COVID-19 webpage. Please note that there have been revisions to the instructions, so read very carefully. The NHSN LTCG Team apologizes if this has caused any inconvenience …

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AHRQ’s COVID-19 Resources

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shares a new online resource that provides access to critical research and tools related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource was developed to support healthcare professionals in their effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes: tools and resources for improving clinical practice in hospitals, ambulatory care …

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Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

A new MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20017 on Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing is available. Learn how to temporarily enroll to be an additional laboratory resource to meet the urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing capability.

CMS News Summary – MAY 7, 2020

Here is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions taken in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to …

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RIDOH Shares Personal Protective Equipment Videos

Personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators (like N95s), facemasks (such as surgical masks), face shields and other eye protection, gowns, and gloves, are in short supply across the United States. Until appropriate PPE is available, the Rhode Island Department of Health provide guidance on the prioritization and conservation of PPE. Watch these educational videos on …

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Laboratory and Testing Resources

CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s clinical laboratories can respond to the threat of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses to ensure patient health and safety.

Additional Resources & Calls for Stakeholders

CMS has developed a toolkit for stakeholder partners to help you stay informed on CMS and HHS materials available on COVID-19. Check back often for the most up-to-date information; please refresh your browser often to see the most up-to-date information. Upcoming COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls Conference lines are limited, so we highly encourage you to join …

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CMS Releases Updated Fact Sheets

CMS has updated multiple fact sheets that summarize changes made through regulatory actions in response to COVID-19. View more resources available on CMS waivers and flexibilities here. A full list of emergency declaration blanket waivers for health care providers implemented to date is available here. Additional fact sheets include: Clinicians:  Physicians and Other Practitioners (PDF) …

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COVID-19 Update from the Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is processing payments from the Provider Relief Fund to hospitals with large numbers of COVID-19 inpatient admissions through April 10, 2020, and to rural providers in support of the national response to COVID-19. “These new payments are being distributed to healthcare providers who have been hardest hit …

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Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

At President Trump’s direction, and building on its recent historic efforts to help the U.S. healthcare system manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued another round of sweeping regulatory waivers and rule changes to deliver expanded care to the nation’s seniors and provide flexibility to the …

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COVID-19 Resource Guide

The following guide is a compendium of resources related to COVID-19. These resources were identified by our quality improvement experts on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These resources will help support your work in reducing COVID-19 cases and helping prevent new cases. Updated 4/20/20 Updated edition coming soon

Updated Accelerated and Advanced Payments Fact Sheet

In order to increase cash flow to providers of services and suppliers impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to a broader group of Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers. The expansion of this program is …

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How to Protect Yourself & Others

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared information and tips on COVID-19. This includes information on how COVID-19 spreads and safety tips everyone should practice.

CDC’s New PPE Educational Materials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) educational materials to be used as an aide when training healthcare personnel on selecting and correctly using; donning (putting on), doffing (taking off), and disposing of PPE to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19 in the healthcare settings.   New COVID-19 …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS approved its first Medicaid COVID-19 emergency demonstration, making the state of Washington the first to receive approval. The approval provides new flexibility and resources so the state of Washington can deliver the most effective care to their Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to new payment and reimbursement arrangements, the demonstration allows the state to target …

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Compliance Flexibilities Announced for Implementation of Interoperability Final Rules Due to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), in conjunction with the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), announced a policy of enforcement discretion to allow compliance flexibilities regarding the implementation of the interoperability final rules announced on March 9, 2020. ONC, CMS, …

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Trump Administration Launches New Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges

CMS and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting COVID-19 in their communities. Developed by the Healthcare Resilience Task Force as part of the unified government’s response to COVID-19, the toolkit includes a full suite of available …

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CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS issued critical guidance allowing licensed, independent freestanding emergency departments (IFEDs) in Colorado, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Texas to temporarily provide care to Medicare and Medicaid patients to address any surge resulting from COVID-19. This action by the Trump Administration increases hospital capacity to ensure these states can quickly and effectively care for their most …

CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Read More »

Educational Webinar: Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation

Hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation Date/Time: Thursday, April 30, 2020, 12:00pm–1:30 pm EDT This webinar will offer strategies for supporting caregivers and their loved ones, up-to-date information on facilitating access to health and social …

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Infection Control FAQs

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on infection control. This page was updated on April 23, 2020 to align with the revised Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. Who is this for: Healthcare personnel who …

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COVID-19 Update: Additional Blanket Waivers

CMS continues to release additional blanket waivers to the healthcare community in order to provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during this public health emergency. Today, CMS is providing additional blanket waivers related to care for patients in Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), temporary expansion locations of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally …

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Optimize PPE Supply

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used every day by healthcare personnel (HCP) to protect themselves, patients, and others when providing care. PPE helps protect HCP from potentially infectious patients and materials, toxic medications, and other potentially dangerous substances used in healthcare delivery. PPE shortages are currently posing a tremendous challenge to the US healthcare system …

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Administration Champions Reporting of COVID-19 Clinical Trial Data through Quality Payment Program, Announces New Clinical Trials Improvement Activity

Improved availability of data key to driving improvement in patient care and development of innovative practices The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging clinicians who participate in the Quality Payment Program (QPP), such as physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others, to contribute to scientific research and evidence to fight the Coronavirus …

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CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues new recommendations specifically targeted to communities that are in Phase 1 of the Guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. The recommendations update earlier guidance provided by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and …

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COVID-19 Outpatient Dialysis Facility Preparedness Assessment Tool

All U.S. outpatient dialysis facilities should be prepared for the possible arrival of patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). All outpatient dialysis facilities should ensure their staff are trained, equipped, and capable of practices needed to: ƒPrevent the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, within the dialysis facility.ƒ Promptly identify and isolate patients with possible …

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CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved 52 COVID- related emergency waivers, 31 state amendments, 11 COVID-related Medicaid Disaster Amendments and one CHIP COVID-related Disaster Amendment in record time. States are using a toolkit CMS developed to expedite the application and approval of Medicaid state waivers and State Plan Amendments. CMS recently approved two additional COVID-related emergency Medicaid waivers, …

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CMS Increases Medicare Payment for High-Production Coronavirus Lab Tests

CMS helps expand testing capacity and monitoring for COVID-19 in nursing homes and other settings with high volume testing needs The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced Medicare will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This …

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CDC’s NHSN: Healthcare Worker and Supply Pathways

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) continues to support the nation’s COVID-19 response and has released two additional data collection pathways in the COVID-19 Module found within the Patient Safety Component. In addition to the Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Pathway, the Healthcare Worker Staffing Pathway and the …

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COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facility (LTC) Transfer Scenarios

CMS is providing supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and/or nursing facilities based on COVID-19 status (i.e., positive, negative, unknown/under observation). In general, if two or more certified LTC facilities want to transfer or discharge residents between themselves for the purposes of cohorting, they do not need any additional …

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Expanded Coverage for Essential Diagnostic Services Amid COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, have issued guidance to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost. As part of the effort to slow the …

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Infection Control Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared interim infection control guidance. This guidance has been updated based on currently available information about COVID-19 and the current situation in the United States, which includes community transmission, infections identified in healthcare personnel (HCP), and shortages of facemasks, N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) (commonly known as …

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Return-to-Work Criteria for Health Care Professionals with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19

Summary of Recent Changes as of April 13, 2020 Indicates a preference for use of the Test-based strategy to determine when HCP may return to work in healthcare settings Adds return to work criteria for HCP with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms Aligns with recommendations for universal source control for everyone in a …

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Administration Acts to Ensure U.S. Healthcare Facilities Can Maximize Frontline Workforces to Confront COVID-19 Crisis

At President Trump’s direction, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today temporarily suspended a number of rules so that hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can boost their frontline medical staffs as they fight to save lives during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These changes affect doctors, nurses, and other clinicians nationwide, …

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Ending Home Isolation

This website was updated to reflect the updates in the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. The changes include: Updated PPE recommendations Based on local and regional situational analysis of PPE supplies, facemasks are an acceptable alternative when the supply chain of …

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CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS continues to deliver urgent regulatory relief to ensure states can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. For the first time, CMS has approved a COVID-related Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Disaster Amendment that brings relief for CHIP-covered children living in Maine. In addition, CMS approved COVID-related Medicaid …

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Coronavirus-Related Medicare Scam Alert Blog

The Social Security Administration featured a guest blog from CMS Administrator Seema Verma reminding Medicare beneficiaries to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid falling victim to healthcare fraud during the coronavirus pandemic.

Helping families cope with COVID-19 outbreaks

The worldwide spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought unprecedented challenges. Given the resulting disruptions to daily life, helping children cope with stress can be especially difficult. Implementation of social distancing strategies to prevent illness increases families’ stress levels even further. In an effort to protect the mental health of children and their caregivers, …

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CMS Issues New Wave of Infection Control Guidance Based on CDC Guidelines to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

Guidance will aid clinicians in various healthcare settings to prevent and mitigate the spread Under the leadership of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a series of updated guidance documents focused on infection control to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a variety of inpatient …

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CMS Approves Over $51 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has delivered near $34 billion in the past week to the healthcare providers on the frontlines battling the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The funds have been provided through the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to …

CMS Approves Over $51 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week Read More »

COVID-19 Dear Clinician Letter and Updated Elective Surgery Recommendations

Dear Clinician Letter CMS posted a letter to clinicians that outlines a summary of actions CMS has taken to ensure clinicians have maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care during the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. The summary includes information about telehealth and virtual visits, accelerated and advanced payments, and recent waiver information. …

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Special Open Door Forum Addressing Telehealth in Medicare During COVID-19

CMS invites you to a Special Open Door Forum addressing CMS’ actions to increase access to Telehealth in Medicare during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.   This Special Open Door Forum is open to everyone, if you are a member of the Press, you may listen in but please refrain from asking questions during the Q & …

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COVID-19: Telehealth Billing Correction, Nursing Home Recommendations, Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators, New ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code

SPECIAL EDITION – Friday, April 3, 2020 News Billing for Professional Telehealth Distant Site Services During the Public Health Emergency — Revised Trump Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators (HCPCS Code E0467) under the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Otherwise New ICD-10-CM diagnosis code, U07.1, for …

COVID-19: Telehealth Billing Correction, Nursing Home Recommendations, Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators, New ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Read More »

Infection Prevention and Control Considerations for Alternate Care Sites

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released considerations regarding infection prevention and control for alternative care sites. Establishing alternate care sites will help address surge in the response to COVID-19. Since care will be provided in a non-traditional environment, it is critical to ensure these facilities can support the implementation of recommended infection …

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Trump Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments

On April 3, at the direction of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued critical recommendations to state and local governments, as well as nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes. …

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Trump Administration Makes Sweeping Regulatory Changes to Help U.S. Healthcare System Address COVID-19 Patient Surge

March 30, 2020 – At President Trump’s direction, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Made possible by President Trump’s recent emergency declaration and …

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Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Laboratory Guidance During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS is issuing this memorandum to laboratory surveyors to provide important guidance to surveyors and laboratories during the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as: CMS’ Exercise of enforcement discretion to ensure pathologists may review pathology slides remotely if certain defined conditions are met Ensuring that laboratories located in the United States wishing to perform COVID-19testing …

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